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Is Freeze Distillation of Sugar Wash Legal?

Freeze Distillation is a misnomer. There is no boiling, formation of methanol, flammable (explosive) fumes production. Hence there is not much concern for authorities. There is also no law that explicitly bans keeping alcoholic beverages in freezer. However do check with local laws before distillation.

Freeze distillation is essentially keeping the cider, sugar-wash, beer or wine in the freezer. At about -10 Degree Celsius, the beverage becomes a slush. Alcohol acts as an anti-freeze so the freezing point is lower than water. As the temperature is further reduced, more and more water crystalizes into ice and residual liquid turns into higher concentration ethanol. We repeat although this technology is called Freeze Distillation, it actually means Fractional Freezing. The freezing point of ethanol is -115 oC. However if you are able to achieve -30degree Celsius, then only one can remove substantial water from your beverage.

% of EthanolFreezing Point oC
00
10-4
20-9
30-15
40-23
50-32
60-37
70-48
80-59
90-73
Freezing point of Water Alcohol Mixture

Glacial Acetic Acid

For school projects a similar and much easier experiment to follow is making distilled acetic acid at home from vinegar. It is called Eisessig or ice vinegar. Vinegar forms ice like crystals when kept at 4 Degree Celsius. Although the water and ethanol gets left behind, the tartness of your cider and vinegar reduces as the oxidized ethanol gets separated in form of white crystals of acetic acid. One of the reason why ethanol always recommend cold crashing of home brew is improvement in clarity and taste (less sour) due to this simple inexpensive process.

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